tv CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar CNN September 26, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PDT
intelligence committee has been publicly quiet, but he and the vice chair have been linked together in terms of working behind the scenes to be able to get this complaint. >> one would hope if they read this, they at least call the white house and say, i'll give you a day or two to answer it. otherwise we may have to answer it. thank you for joining "inside politics." brianna keilar picks it up right now. >> thank you, john. we have what is now a formal inquiry into president donald j. trump. first, the whistleblower complaint that triggered this inquiry, the one that centered around that july 25th phone call between president trump and the president of ukraine is now public. and then second, the official who originally withheld the complaint from congress despite being required to, by law, turn it over to acting director of national intelligence, joseph mcguire. let's listen in to the president
live. >> it's a disgrace to our country. it's another witch hunt, here we go again. it's adam schiff and his crew making up stories and sitting there like pirates, whatever you want to call them. it really is a disgrace. it's a terrible thing for our country. they can't do any work, they're frozen, the democrats are going to lose the election. they know it, that's why they're doing it. and it should never be allowed what's happened to this president, and despite that, i think i've done just about more than any president in his two and a half years in office. if you look, i think very few could compare to what we've done for the military, the economy. we have the best economy anywhere in the world by far. we've rebuilt our military, we've done so many things that are so incredible with tax cuts and regulation, and i have to put up with adam schiff on an absolutely perfect phone call to the new president of ukraine. that was a perfect call.
but adam schiff doesn't talk about joe biden and his son walking away with millions of dollars from ukraine and then millions of dollars from china. walking away in a quick meeting, walking away with millions of dollars. he doesn't talk about joe biden firing a prosecutor, and if that prosecutor is not fired, he's not going to give them money from the united states of america. they don't talk about that. my call was perfect. the president yesterday of ukraine said there was no pressure put on him whatsoever, none whatsoever. and he said it loud and clear for the press. what these guys, democrats, are doing to this country is a disgrace and it shouldn't be allowed. there should be a way of stopping it, maybe legally through the courts, but they're going to tie up our country. we can't talk about gun regulation, we can't talk about anything because, frankly, they are so tied up, they're so screwed up, nothing gets done
except when i do it. i'm using mexico to protect our border because the democrats won't change loopholes in asylum. when you think of that, and i tell you, i want to thank mexico. 27,000 soldiers they have. but think of how bad that is, think of it. we use mexico because the democrats won't fix our broken immigration system, we need their votes. if we don't get their votes, we can't do it. the republicans are all on board. they want to fix it but the democrats won't do it. they don't want to talk about infrastructure, they don't want to talk about lowering drug prices, they don't want to talk about anything because they're fixated on this, and nancy pelosi has been hijacked by the radical left, and everybody knows it. thank you. >> we just need to fact check some of the things the president
said there, talking about joe biden and his son walking away with millions of dollars from ukraine. there is no proof that joe biden has any wrongdoing when it comes to what we're seeing in ukraine or china, and these things have been looked at for sure. he also talked about biden firing a prosecutor. that prosecutor actually, and this was joe biden as a member of the obama administration, it was a prosecutor the obama administration did not want to see there in ukraine, but that was actually because the prosecutor was lax on enforcing corruption and had not even looked into the energy company, the head of the energy company, barisma, that hunter biden actually sat on the board of. and getting rid of the prosecutor, it was seen as something that could have been more oversight of the board of this company hunter biden was sitting on. i think in retrospect, would hunter biden have sat on that board? i think that's something the biden campaign will be reckoning with at this point, but again, no findings of wrongdoing when
it comes to joe biden or hunter biden. we were just talking about the acting dni who just finished testifying about the contents of a whistleblower complaint under oath. let's listen. >> i think the whistleblower did the right thing. i think he followed the law every step of the way. >> the whistleblower complaint is nine pages long and it really helps bring things full circle. because consider this. if yesterday's transcript of the phone call between president trump and ukraine's president revealed evidence of a potential impeachable evidence, a quid pro quo, then this complaint reveals its alleged cover-up. here's how the whistleblower begins the complaint. quote, i have received information from multiple u.s. government officials that the president of the united states is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 u.s. election. and then the whistleblower goes on to describe president trump's july 25th phone call with
ukraine's president in which, according to a white house transcript, president trump asks for a favor to investigate what is a conspiracy theory, that ukraine is in possession of the dnc server that was hacked by the russians and also a favor, to investigate another unfounded claim, as we were just talking about, about joe biden's actions regarding ukraine while he was vice president as his son hunter sat on the board of this ukranian energy company. the whistleblower rights, the white house officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call. they told me there was already a discussion ongoing with white house lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials' retelling, that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain. and here is where the alleged cover-up comes in. quote, in the days following the call, i learned from multiple u.s. officials that senior white house officials had intervened to lock down all records of the
phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced as is customary by the white house situation room. this set of actions underscored to me that white house officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call. according to this whistleblower, two things then happened. first, white house lawyers directed officials to remove the electronic transcript from a computer system where these kinds of transcripts are typically housed. and two, the transcript was then loaded onto a separate system that is used to store highly classified information which this call was not. and then there's this stunning bit of information which could be a major tell as to where this investigation is headed. quote, according to white house officials i spoke with, this was not the first time under this administration that a presidential transcript was placed in this code word level system, that is a highly classified system, solely for the purpose of protecting
politically sensitive rather than national security sensitive information. let's discuss this now. with us we have former fbi special agent asha rangappa, elliott williams, cnn's gloria borger, cnn's dana bash, cnn's pamela brown as well as reporter manu raju on the hill. manu, to you first. we watched this hearing. what is the reaction on the hill after this? >> i just spoke to adam schiff, the house intelligence committee chairman, and asked him about his next steps. he made it very clear talking to reporters just now that he plans to use this whistleblower complaint as a, quote, road map investigation in the days ahead. they plan to pursue all of the leads that are in this complaint, talking about the white house lawyers who allegedly tried to conceal this complaint from going forward, and other people who are mentioned in there as well as rudy giuliani, the president's attorney, as well as the attorney general of the united states, bill barr. i asked schiff specifically, will you bring in bill barr?
will you bring in rudy giuliani? and will you subpoena for those other transcripts that were allegedly stored by white house officials to prevent them from getting out. the whistleblower said they were improperly concealed. i asked if he would subpoena for those. he would not comment on specific investigative steps, but he made very clear that they planned to pursue all avenues. he says he plans to push this, quote, as expeditiously as possible in the weeks ahead, but in a very significant statement earlier today, nancy pelosi, the house speaker, said this she essentially is designating the intelligence committee led by adam schiff to take the lead on this impeachment inquiry. that means this committee will essentially being the one pushing to determine essentially the scope of the ultimate articles of impeachment, assuming the democrats go that route, and nancy pelosi wants to keep that focus on the ukraine complaint, on what happened here, what we heard today, on
what the whistleblower is alleging. not all of those allegations of obstruction of justice and other allegations of criminal wrongdoing by the president but specifically on the ukraine issue, to keep it as narrow as possible and presumably to push to impeach this president by the fall. so this is just the beginning of an aggressive effort by democrats to try to move to impeachment in just a matter of weeks, as republicans overwhelmingly are dismissing what happened today, calling it politics and saying it's all relying on secondhand nchgs. nevertheless, brianna, expect an aggressive effort by this house intelligence committee to determine whether to impeach the president over these issues, brianna. >> manu, thank you. pamela, we heard the president describing this call, what he called a perfect call. that's what he just said, right, a perfect call. >> yeah. >> but there are these allegations in this complaint of
something happening to this, quote, unquote perfect call that would make you think, maybe this wasn't a perfect call, and if the president thinks it's a perfect call, there is a lot of people around him who do not. the whistleblower says officials told him white house lawyers directed officials to remove the electronic transcript from the normal computer system where it's housed and move it to this highly classified system. how significant is this? >> well, it's very significant because the big point here is there wasn't classified information in the transcript. it could be politically damaging, as we now know, to the president. so the fact that, according to this complaint, white house lawyers reviewed the transcript and tlahought, this is going to make the president look bad and put it in this secured classification raises questions and sounds the alarm bells on this. and sources i'm talking to, they say that basically this was an effort to cut down on leaks, because they were worried that this would get out there. now, the irony, of course, is
this caught the attention of the whistleblower and it has come out, anyway, through this person. and so it is significant and it does raise the question of what other calls were put on that secure system that didn't contain classified conversation, and potentially what other white house documents are head of state calls? >> and part of the complaint is they were directed to do that. that's one of the very first questions, i'm guessing. there are many important questions that the impeachment inquiry will try to get answered, but who directed it? and assuming it was someone pretty high up, if they directed this -- >> you would have to think -- >> they were directed by the lawyers, yeah. >> and the reason for that is because the director knew that it was bad.
they knew this was something that should not get out. >> we just have breaking news from the washington times. maggie haberman is on the phone announcing that president trump said to his staff he wants to know who provided information to the whistleblower and also remarked that, quote, in the old days, spies were dealt with differently. maggie haberman, what can you tell us? >> reporter: thanks for having me. the president spoke this morning at an event at the intercontinental hotel. it was for admission to the u.n. the president from the outset was hot about the whistleblower, hot about the bidens, hot about the media, referred to the media as scum, said other things about the biden family and then said there was nothing wrong with his phone call before he was several minutes into his remarks and said the whistleblower didn't hear the call and he wanted to know who the whistleblower had heard things from.
he said that was, quote, close to a spy. then he said, you know what we used to do in the old days, quote, unquote, when we were smart about spies and treason, unquote. we would have handled things a little differently. or, well, we used to handle it differently. some people in the audience laughed, some people seemed to be stunned. but this all took place as the odni mcguire was testifying on the hill defending the whistleblower and saying this person followed the law. >> that's right, the acting dni said that the whistleblower was operating in good faith and also was asked about making sure the whistleblower would not be retaliated against. we have to point out this is a whistleblower has gone through, maggie, the formal channels, on the official channels for reporting this information, and part of that allows them to be pre protected by law. also, maggie, i want to know what you think, because according to the whistleblower
complaint, this information was provided to me and related in course of interagency business. so this would have come to them just in the course of doing their work. what would the president's reaction be to that? >> reporter: look, i think we're probably going to see the same from the president. we're headed into uncharted territory. we know this is a president that doesn't typically have discipline in terms of what he says. i apologize but there is a rainstorm around me right now. doesn't have discipline in terms of what he says, sometimes makes these kinds of comments behind closed doors. the process started on a different kind of inquiry, whether or not his supporters think it's fair and whether or not they think it's justified where he is right now, and the weight of these kinds of remarks will be viewed very differently than i think you've seen a lot
of people dismiss over time as to just how he talks. >> maggie haberman, thank you very much for that breaking news. i want to ask asha rangappa about. asha, the president is in dangerous territory here. >> yes. listen, the reason we have something called a whistleblower protection act, in this case for the intelligence community, is precisely to provide a mechanism for people to report wrongdoing without fear of retaliation. and what he is signalling is that he wants to know who it is so that he can retaliate. it sounds like he even wants to extend that to the people within his own circle, potentially. as we were just talking about, clearly there are people who are involved in doing these calls who found it so problematic that they have been talking about it to somebody who then reported it. it does have a potential chilling effect for them to blow
the whistle or take advantage of this mechanism, and i think congress will be very concerned about that as well. that was a big focus of the discussion today, particularly, with chairman schiff. >> jim, what is your reaction to this "new york times" report that the president -- as we know, the president has been attacking the whistleblower, but now the president is saying he wants to know who spoke to the whistleblower, and he talked about how spies used to be treated, even as retaliation against this whistleblower is strictly prohibited by law. >> the president's definition of spy is, and it's not just confined to this incident, anybody who provides critical information on him, right? we've heard him use that term before, and we've heard him make threats before, although we should say this is qualitatively different for the chief, it appears, to identify spies as
treason. keep in mind the president has leveled this kind of charge before, not just against individuals but against entire institutions of this government, right? intelligence agencies, the fbi. when he has felt that their investigations or the intelligence they provide do not align with his interests or somehow are critical or expose even wrongdoing by him, he accuses them, you'll remember, of nazi-like behavior in the russia investigation. he's made similar charges of the fbi with hits role in the investigation. in the president's dictionary, a spy in effect is an internal critic here. then beyond that, let's look at the effect of what the whistleblower law is intended to do. it's intended to provide a legal and protected right for people
inside government by their leaders, up to and including the president. by the way, remember, it is an appointee of this president, the inspector general of the intelligence community who determined this whistleblower complaint to be both credible and urgent. that's something that got lost in hearing this morning. spying is something the president uses flippantly when there is something he doesn't like. >> gloria, i am sure that the president is getting counselled about how he needs to tread on this, which is carefully. he can really get himself in trouble. we're watching it happen before his eyes, according to this "new york times" report, but clearly he is messaging politically with this. >> what is he trying to do? is he trying to obstruct this
investigation? let's be honest. the president looks at these people who spoke to the whistleblower as rats. they're rats to him. and that's how he looks at leakers and people who were concerned about his behavior. he sees them as rats. and he sees the whistleblower as a rat, not somebody who did his duty or her duty as, you know, was said this morning, you know. and so i think the president is furious. he says, i want to know who these people are, i want to get rid of them. what he doesn't understand is that will only inspire more people to talk to the investigating committees. >> there's that, but there's also it's one thing to not like rats or leakers. this is a completely different case here. this is a whistleblower who has legal protections and he just tried to obstruct that. >> we have so many legal questions for elliott specifically after the break, so many for you.
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joseph mcguire, the acting director of national intelligence, receiving a slew of questions which on the whistleblower complaint which is the subject of this impeachment inquiry. the phone call between the president and the president of ukraine, the details at which they tried to lock it down and contain the damage with a cover-up. senator cory booker sits on the intelligence committee. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me here. >> i want to talk about the president told a crowd of staff just this morning at the united states mission to the united nations that he wants to know who provided information to a
whistleblower about his phone call with the president of ukraine. he said whoever did so was, quote, close to a spy, and, quote, that in the old days, and this is paraphrased, that spies were dealt with differently in the old days. what do you make of this? >> the president is showing us who he is. he has a ruthless recklessness with the way he speaks which is not only vicious and cruel, but frankly, it is viol ativ e fortunate standards in our nation, the decency that should come from the highest office in the land. he is just continually making it worse for himself the more he opens his mouth. >> i want to talk to you about the facts as we know them at this point. the call transcript which we saw yesterday demonstrates the president pressuring ukraine to provide dirt on joe biden as the president at the time was holding up approved aid to ukraine. the whistleblower complaint also alleges the white house officials hid a transcript of
the call in a highly classified computer some so it would be away from eyes who would usually see it. is this a conspiracy in the white house? >> well, it's pretty damning. look, we know from iran contra scandal all the way to richard nixon's scandals that the cover-up is often crimes within themselves. and so now we have a lot to unravel. there is a lot of dense, dense smoke that indicates to me a blazing infer no, potentially. we ever to be sobered about this, pull back and just go where the facts lead us. after this release of the whistleblower complaint, there are so many indications of criminal behavior, of cover-ups, of folks who knew that what the president was doing was dead wrong, engaging national security, putting his own personal benefits, his financial interests, his political interests ahead of national security. >> the hiding of the call was
something we didn't know about until we saw the complaint, and one of the other things we didn't know until we saw the complaint was that the whistleblower said it's not the first time a politically sensitive transcript has been hidden in a system that is meant for information that is supposed to keep private, sensitive information, classified information that has to do with national security. what recourse, though, does congress have in investigating this allegation? >> they have tremendous recourse. and this is why i think it was so important that nancy pelosi began impeachment inquiries. it actually gives us a greater constitutional standing to investigate, to do the things that donald trump was preventing us from doing in the past. >> how does congress investigate a stand-alone computer system that is housed on the nfc on white house property? >> this is, again, it's number one about the legal standing that congress has to hold the administrative branch accountable to provide oversight.
so yes, we actually have a legal right to those documents. so this is going to play out over the coming weeks and months. but this is clearly -- and this is what americans, we should all know, and this is why this can't be about partisanship. it has to be about patriotism. because this is an issue, and iv i've been to, as my role in the foreign relations committee, i've been to ukraine. i've met with soldiers along the front lines in this fight, against russians who have fought them in a kinetic way. but they've been undermining our democracy. in the context of all this, congress, in a bipartisan fashion, was sending aid to people that i saw with my own eyes with critical life-saving resources. but this president now, with every indication, was willing to hold up in order to pursue his petty, personal, political ambitions. this is devastating not just to him and his position as a
president, but to that office and what it is urgently charged with, which is to protect national interest. so this is in the context in which this is happening, and congress has an urgent constitutional responsibility to investigate. >> you said this shouldn't be partisan, this is very partisan. we just saw the divide play out on the house intel committee. house republicans are defending the president. privately, are you hearing differently from your senate colleagues? >> i've had the opportunity to get to know a lot of my colleagues not just as colleagues but really as friends. there is a historical precedent to this moment we are in right now. when the nixon investigations began, there was fierce partisanship there. but the more the truth came out, you began to see profiles in courage. you began to see heroes in the republican party that said, enough already. i'm going to put my personal, political, short-term interests, i'm going to put those aside and be a patriot and break with my party to be with my country. and history looks back on those
republicans -- >> have any of your colleagues said that they're thinking about that? >> you're already seeing friends of mine like ben sasse, or you're seeing people i'm just starting to get to know, new senator mitt romney really have a sobered, thoughtful perspective on this. and i think that we are just on the foothills of a mountain of evidence that will come out in the coming days and weeks, and i have faith at the end of the day knowing a lot of my colleagues like i do, that some of them will have the courage to stand up and do the right thing at the right time. that remains to be seen in this fierce time of tribalism, but i have a lot of faith in my country as a whole -- and by the way, public sentiment means a lot in this. as public sentiment shifts, often people -- the winds of public sentiment do affect a lot of the republicans that are there right now. i'm not looking at this as a partisan right now, not as a democrat who is fighting hard to
be the one that shows down donald trump in the 2020 elections. i'm a united states senator. i swore an oath not to defend my party, i swore an oath to defend and protect the constitution. i hope all of us in this position look at this, especially those in the shadow of history looking back at this, will do what's right in the moment of history. right now the right thing to do is to investigate all of the leads that indicate right now we have a president who has betrayed his office, betrayed his nation and violated his oath. >> investigate. what about impeach? does the content of the complaint warrant impeachment? >> well, i believe right now the right thing is happening. i've been calling for impeachment proceedings to go before nancy pelosi did. but now we have begun. impeachment proceedings are fully justified. pelosi did the right thing by her country. and now numerous committees have a lot of work to do. i am going to be a juror.
should the articles of impeachment pass in the house, i will sit with the whole senate as a jury as evidence is presented, and we will have to take a vote on the record. i'm looking keenly as the house does their investigation, and i'm actually a little encouraged because the senate should be investigating right now as well. we've already seen some bipartisan signs that the senators on both sides of the aisle want to get to the truth. >> all right, senator cory booker, thank you so much. >> thank you very much. we will continue to follow our breaking news as the whistleblower complaint was declassified, the "new york times" is reporting that president trump threatened retaliation. wow! that's ensure max protein, with high protein and 1 gram sugar. it's a sit-up, banana! bend at the waist! i'm tryin'!
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back to our breaking news on the day we see the whistleblower's report on the president's call to the president of ukraine. the "new york times" reporting that the president is asking who talked to the whistleblower, calling them a spy, saying that this amounts to treason, and you know what we used to do to spies, essential ly is what he
said. we have a panel with us now. the complaint from the whistleblower says that politically sensitive information, meaning this phone call which was not classified, was moved to a standalone server, right, housed with the nfc on white house grounds, was moved into this highly classified system to keep it from certain eyes. what would that have taken, sam? >> this was classified. typically when the transcript is drafted by members of the situation room, distributed to members of the nfc staff and then drpistributed to cabinet officials and other employees, it is drafted and disseminated more broadly. this is a code level information, code level which is most often used for covert
information. someone essentially took that transcript and moved it from the top secret server to the standalone server, which typically, brianna, only members of the intelligence community have access to it. misusing it to hide a conversation, to hide a crime is misusing intelligence community resources. and so now the question is who gave that order to move the document, and we found out in the whistleblower complaint, someone said that document should be scrubbed from the top secret system so there was no trace of it and only be used on the covert system. >> so my question, then, is really twofold. is that conspiracy, and is the president threatening this whistleblower, as we now know he did, according to the "new york times," talking to a crowd, is that obstruction? >> well, conspiracy is relatively straightforward. you have to have an kbreemt to break the law and some act in furtherance of that agreement. so when two people say we're going to violate the law, or let's do this thing that's
illegal, that's a conspiracy. >> so yes? >> if there is an underlying crime attached to it, then certainly, yes, it could be a conspiracy. on obstruction of justice, we know this from the special counsel investigation, we've heard these terms before, but you have to have an active obstruction, an official proceeding connected to the thing you're obstructing and corrupt intent, right? so, yeah, it looks like those things are here with the president, but look, the issue isn't whether the president committed a crime. a lot of the president's defenders right now are saying no quid pro quo, there was no bribery, there couldn't have been a crime here. and so what. that is not the point. the question is just as senator booker said on your network a moment ago, did he violate his public trust, did he violate his oath as president of the united states? that's the standard of impeachment and that's the standard the president is judged by, but did this rise to a level of criminal statute really doesn't matter. >> and there are other witnesses
to this. the national security advisers -- john bolton, who is now a private citizen, by the way, would have been involved in this process. the director of the situation room, the senior director of intelligence, not to mention anybody who originally got that transcript. so at this point there are multiple people within the white house -- the director of intelligence that transferred it to that code word system, that could be called as witnesses as part of this impeachment inquiry even as we don't have access to the telephone calls themselves. >> the attorney general of the united states. >> he said he did not get a readout, which i find hard to believe. >> now the one thing that needs to be confirmed is if there will be hearings to hear from these people. we have breaking news in what could be a critical moment in the presidency of donald trump. information,
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let's do the story that as engulfed the white house in the nation today. the refr legislatiovelations in release of the whistleblower report. it says the president used his office to both pursue help from ukraine and influencing the 2020 election and then that the white house covered that up. that report is at the center of the democrats' impeachment
inquiry, and my next guest is one of the seven freshman lawmakers who penned an op-ed this week explaining their decision to vote yes on impeachment. michigan congresswoman elizabeth slotkin is joining us now. explain what it was about this moment that changed your mind. >> sure. i was pretty reticent to jump into anything related to impeachment. i think it's a huge deal and a somber deal for the country. but when i started to learn about this deal with ukraine and the idea that the president acknowledged and admitted to that the president in the most powerful country in the world called that president and asked for dirt on an opponent in an american election. that for me just crossed a tlesh o -- threshold in its seriousness. i'm a former pentagon official. it just went right to the heart
of everything i feel i've been fighting for and swore an oath to do. and it's looking forward to protecting our 2020 elections. it's not looking backwards. this is about the future, and i feel like my oath really kicked in and i came out along with a number of my peers. >> knowing this phone call was scrubbed from the top secret system and moved into a more highly classified system, which houses code word, classified information, code word information, what does that tell you, and also what can congress do to figure this out considering the whistle-blower says they understand this isn't the first time this has been done? >> sure. so i think it's important in this whole thing to keep focused on sort of the top line, which is, again, what the president and his lawyer acknowledged they've done. we did learn today from the whistle-blower letter that there is sort of a greater depth and
breadth to this story, and as someone who actually was on detail to the white house both under president bush and under president obama, there are, indeed, two different systems. one for unclassified information, one for classified. seems they moved it from one to the other, and that's not good. right? again, i think what we keep doing is getting wrapped around the axle on the specifics when we know kind of the top-line message and the top-line problem here. the president used his influence to collect dirt on an opponent, and that can't be okay. >> this is a concerted effort by democrats to try to stick narrowly to discussing what you just discussed. are you worried that when you go beyond that and that even if you don't go beyond that, that you might not be able to pull enough americans along to support democrats politically as they move forward with the impeachment process? >> listen, it is the job of the
u.s. congress to be really cleef, strategic and efficient how we handle this process, that is our job, and am ready to acknowledge we haven't always done that before. people have gotten confused, a lot of different things happening at the same time. it is on us to make sure this process feels different for people, and i hope if we do that correctly people see what we see. which is just forget about the political, you know, persuasions of this president. i don't want a future democratic president saying, hey, i'm going to go to china privately or north korea and get dirt on my opponent. i just don't want that to be something that we set as a precedent. so it's on us to present that information, and i hope that the american people will see that this is something, listen, no one wanted to be in this position. i certainly did not. and i come from a district with a lot of different opinions about impeachment, heard from a lot of different sides on think, but at a certain point we all
took an oath to protect and defend the constitution and that is what i feel i'm doing. >> congresswoman elissa slotkin, thank you for coming on. >> thank you. former fbi deputy director andrew mccabe standing by. his take on the whistle-blower complaint add the report the president threatening retaliation against the whistle-blower. hes farther than ever before. with more engineers. more towers. more coverage! it's a network that gives you ♪freedom from big cities, to small towns, we're with you. because life can take you almost anywhere, t-mobile is with you. no signal goes farther or is more reliable in keeping you connected.
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official, formal process, which provides this whistle-blower protection. right? >> that's right. >> and the president, according to the "new york times" told us a crowd of staff from the united states mission to the u.n. he wants to know who provided information to the whistle-blower, and whoever did so, the whistle-blower, close to a spy and said in the old days spies were dealt with differently. >> yes. two things jump out at me here. first is, of course, the president is doing exactly what government officials are not supposed to do. he's clearly targeting the person who's filed this complaint that affects him seriously and is kind of laying the marker down that he wants this person's identity and he wants to be able to follow-up on this. so absolutely a total contravention of all protections for whistle-blowers. the second thing that jumps out to me is that he made these comments in front of what had to have been other u.s. government employees and officials. people from the u.s. mission to the united nations. so you have to ask, was this some sort of a message to all of
those folks and indeed a message to all people serving in the government that if they step forward with complaints, they can expect the president to come after them. >> you just heard from congresswoman slotkin. >> yes. >> she says that she wants to focus on the president using his influence and, frankly, government money, right? >> sure. >> to influence ukraine to dig up dirt on an opponent. i asked her about what we've learned in the complaint. that information was actually moved around to hide it at the white house. and she wants to focus more on the other things. she thinks americans understand that and doesn't want that from anyone, democrat or republican. what's the bigger deal? is it all a big deal? >> i think it's all a big deal. those two different pieces of information, i think, really reflect on each other differently. so just to put it in context. i, in the course of my career as an investigator reviewed
hundreds maybe thousands of transcripts of telephone calls. i can tell you had i reviewed that call in one of my cases i would have run to the prosecutor's office to show them, look what we got on the intercept last night, or whatever that took place. if not an entire case of criminal activity, it is highly relevant information about transgressions those conversants were involved in. the second thing i would say is, if i then learned that one of the people on that call or people acting at that person's behest tried to destroy records of the call, tried to destroy the facilities that the call had taken place on or in anyway tried to conceal what took place on that call, that would be a highly relevant piece of information to investigators and prosecutors. if it's not a crime in and of itself, it certainly is something that's relevant to the intent and the mental state of those involved. a concern about keeping the
substance of that call concealed and away from the eyes of folks who might look into. >> it -- acting dni joseph maguire not known as a partisan. he tried to sflaetress that. democrats had pointed questions, because when he got this complaint from the inspector general he went to the justice department. he went to the white house. he seemed to say in his defense today, every other complaint goes to congress, he said, like, yes, but they normally don't have to do with the president. right? >> sure. >> did he do the right thing? >> well, i don't know. you know, i -- i -- like many of the congressmen said during the hearing today, i have absolutely no reason to question his motives. he is a man of distinction and has served this country well for so many decades. but the question is his judgment around making that decision raises a lot of issues. had he, instead, handled the
complaint the way every other whistle-blower complaint was handled, he would have escaped i think a lot of this criticism. he has fourunfortunately painte himself into a corner. in that testimony dancing on the razor's edge trying to figure out -- trying to explain why he handled this complaint differently than every other one we're aware of, every other one he's, he has or will interact with. and i'm not sure that those answers were entirely satisfy. >> andrew mccabe, thank you so much. appreciate it. that's it for me. "newsroom with brooke baldwin" starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. brianna, tranche. thank you so much. hello there. i'm brooke baldwin, allegations triggering an inquiry catapulted to a w